Budget Thoughts

After last Wednesday’s meeting, a couple of thoughts occurred to me.

What’s the big attraction to the Park Board for leasing its land to Crown Hydro? The lease payment will only be $30,000 per year, plus some fraction of additional profits above a rather high and unlikely to be met mark. One might say, well, we could use $30,000 a year, since we’ve talked about closing beaches, removing porta-potties and emptying wading pools.

But we could allow cell phone providers to put antenna poles in our parks for $15,000 per year per pole. Two poles, and the Crown Hydro project is met. Three, and we are money ahead. Or maybe they should lease to Crown Hydro for something closer to $100,000 a year instead.

Last year, we had a search for a new superintendent which ended in disaster due to commissioner misbehavior. How much did that cost? We are paying for another search this year. I’ve seen estimates of about $30,000 in direct costs for that search.

The 2002 Superintendent’s Report just came out. Now maybe I’m just traditional, but it seems like this report probably should have come out about a year ago. It’s an expensive report, too, at a cost of about $28 per copy with heavy, glossy paper for most pages, lots of full-color, full-bleed pictures, and lots of even more expensive cardboard divider pages. And who is the audience? I’ve owned stocks in public companies for many years. I’ve seen some slick and expensive annual reports. I can also state categorically that those annual reports have gotten a lot less fancy since the economic downturn beginning in spring of 2000. Using common sense, those companies are saving money by printing on inexpensive paper and leaving out the fancy color pictures and graphics.

Maybe if the Park Board stopped squandering money through mismanagement, we could afford to keep the beaches open?

1 thought on “Budget Thoughts

  1. Anonymous

    How much did the Board pay Brian Rice’s firm last year and how does that compare to legal fees paid by other metropolitan park districts that actually solicit bids for the work?

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